Who can deny the greatness of George Gershwin? Rhapsody in Blue alone would be enough to put him on the Mount Olympus of modern composers. And from a highly personal perspective, An American in Paris is just about perfect for me who is exactly what the title suggests. Both marvelous pieces of music by the way, which were composed in the 1920’s, my default cultural decade. First, there’s the mythical lost generation of American writers who moved to Paris because it was both inexpensive and there was no Prohibition and these guys and gals liked their cocktails: F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, being the most prominent of the lost legionnaires of literature. But there were others too, like John Dos Passos, Archibald MacLeish (I mentioned him in “Metaphysical Moments” from my current EP Wonder-Full) as well as the poets E.E. Cummings and Hart Crane as well as novelist Kay Boyle (who was blacklisted during the McCarthy Red Scare) and wonderful Janet Flanner who covered Paris and all its doings for The New Yorker for decades. Speaking of which, I’ve two confessions to make: first, I have been subscribing to The New Yorker since I moved to Paris 34 years ago; and second, I don’t think I have ever read an entire issue in one sitting. But I nearly always read the short stories (especially if they’re by Thomas McGuane), the book and film reviews, any pop music coverage which catches my eye (although not enough coverage of literate singer-songwriter which one might think would be a given) and anything Adam Gopnik writes. For all my ex-pat life, The New Yorker has remained my cultural lifeline to an America that is constantly shape shifting.